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Sunday, July 13, 2014

WaPo: More IRS smidgens show up.

Anyone paying attention to the Internal Revenue Service scandal has been waiting for the next smidgen to drop. Well, two more hit pretty hard this week. At the president’s next encounter with the media, I will scream collusion if no one asks him for his exact definition of a “smidgen,” and if he thinks he has seen a smidgen of corruption yet. At this point, only the most gullible or culpable can continue to claim there is no compelling evidence in this case. Given the delays, lies and stonewalling, there is no viable argument against a special prosecutor.

In a stunning revelation this week, it was disclosed that former IRS official Lois Lerner told colleagues, “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and then proceeded to ask the IRS IT department, in an e-mail, “if [instant messaging] conversations were also searchable.”  When she was told they were not, she e-mailed back, “Perfect.” This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation.

Who knows how many of her colleagues and allies are breathing a sigh of relief upon learning that their e-mails to Lerner were destroyed and their instant messages not recorded? I think Lerner must have a sizable silent cheering section in Washington; people who are rooting for her to hang tough in pleading the Fifth and hoping that she does not go wobbly on them. I’ll bet her government retirement check is one check that never gets lost in the mail or delayed. (Continues)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Obama Is First As Worst President Since WWII in new poll

July 2, 2014 - Obama Is First As Worst President Since WWII, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Voters Say Romney Would Have Been Better 

President Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II, 33 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Another 28 percent pick President George W. Bush.

Ronald Reagan is the best president since WWII, 35 percent of voters say, with 18 percent for Bill Clinton, 15 percent for John F. Kennedy and 8 percent for Obama, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Among Democrats, 34 percent say Clinton is the best president, with 18 percent each for Obama and Kennedy.

America would be better off if Republican Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election, 45 percent of voters say, while 38 percent say the country would be worse off.

Missing Mitt are Republicans 84 - 5 percent and independent voters 47 - 33 percent, while Democrats say 74 - 10 percent that the U.S. would be worse off with Romney.

"Over the span of 69 years of American history and 12 presidencies, President Barack Obama finds himself with President George W. Bush at the bottom of the popularity barrel," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Would Mitt have been a better fit? More voters in hindsight say yes."

Missing Mitt are Republicans 84 - 5 percent and independent voters 47 - 33 percent, while Democrats say 74 - 10 percent that the U.S. would be worse off with Romney.

"Over the span of 69 years of American history and 12 presidencies, President Barack Obama finds himself with President George W. Bush at the bottom of the popularity barrel," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Would Mitt have been a better fit? More voters in hindsight say yes." (Full results at Quinnipiac)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Majority of Americans oppose closing GITMO

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twenty-nine percent of Americans support closing the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and moving its prisoners to U.S. prisons, while two in three (66%) oppose the idea. Despite the recent controversy surrounding the release of five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdal's release from Afghanistan, Americans' views have barely budged since 2009. 

These results are from a June 5-8 Gallup poll conducted days after the release of Sgt. Bergdahl. Gallup found that Americans are divided on the wisdom of negotiating with terrorist groups to secure the release of Americans prisoners.

Like Republicans, independents' support for closing the prison has fallen since 2007, from 37% in 2007 to 28% by November 2009.

As of this year, Democrats have shown their lowest support for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Currently, 41% support the idea, while 54% oppose it. Previously, Democrats were split in their views, sometimes differing by as little as two percentage points.  (Full Story at Gallup)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Americans' Ratings of Obama's Image at New Lows

More view him unfavorably than favorably
by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' views of President Barack Obama as a person have turned slightly negative, with 47% saying they have a favorable opinion of him and 52% an unfavorable one. That net favorable rating of -5 is the least positive personal assessment of Obama to date.

In recent weeks, the president has been dogged by a scandal involving medical care for U.S. military veterans at Veterans Affairs hospitals as well as the controversy surrounding the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. These events to date do not appear to have dragged down his job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking. However, they may be having a slight negative impact on his personal image.

In addition to his lower favorable rating, Americans now rate Obama less positively on each of six personal characteristics Gallup asked about than they did last year. The declines are not large, ranging from two percentage points on being "a strong and decisive leader" since last November to six points on "understanding the problems Americans face in their daily lives." But on all six dimensions, the public's ratings of Obama are now below the majority level and are the worst Gallup has measured for him to date. (Full Story at Gallup)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Eric Cantor Loses Primary to Tea Party Challenger

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has officially lost the Republican primary for his House seat to tea party challenger David Brat, according to the Associated Press. Cantor outspent Brat by a big margin, but still suffered a crushing defeat, marking a huge upset for a conservative movement looking to oust Republican establishment types.

Cantor was targeted by conservatives over, among other things, his position on immigration reform. His defeat came as a huge surprise, given how a Washington Post article today led with “A conservative challenger is expected to fall far short of defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in Tuesday’s congressional primary.” (Source)

TIME: Clinton has a problem to solve that Obama never had

The first thing to get out of the way is this: Hillary Clinton is running for President in 2016, even if she says on Page 595 of her new book, Hard Choices, “I haven’t decided yet.”
Without the reality of a coming candidacy, the rest of the book just doesn’t make any sense. This is a campaign book, written by a candidate (via her speechwriters), processed through a political machine, and delivered to the public with the contradictory goals of depicting the author as a decisive leader and not betraying any evidence of leadership that would turn a voter off. Here is how the candidate-without-an-official-campaign describes the choice facing the country in the next presidential election:

 Ultimately, what happens in 2016 should be about what kind of future Americans want for themselves and their children—and grandchildren. I hope we choose inclusive politics and a common purpose to unleash the creativity, potential, and opportunity that makes America exceptional. That’s what all American people deserve.

Real people who aren’t running for office do not write like this. They do not think like this. They do not try to string together feel-good words in decisive ways that pretend at taking bold stands on the future without actually taking any stand. There are no clear-thinking Americans who do not want “inclusive politics” or “common purpose.” There is no one in public or private life in this country who does not want to “unleash the creativity, potential and opportunity” of the nation. So why write it? Because it is campaign mumbo-jumbo, and campaign mumbo-jumbo works if you want to win elections.
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